Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self


JULY & AUGUST 

The entire planet is heating up right now. Global warming is playing havoc with weather patterns, which in turn affects all plant and animal life. Our emotions are fired up and disagreements are reaching a boiling point, as is evidenced by the ever-increasing and escalating geo-religious-political-economic conflicts around the globe.

Time out! 

Now is the time to turn our attention to positive solutions and focus our thoughts and actions creating peace. Peace of Mind. Peace of Heart. Peace on Earth. There is a chance for peace.


By Karen Ethelsdattar, from Earthwalking & other poems, published February 2002 by Xlibris

For years I have wondered how to tell,
how to let speak,
the wordless dream of one long-ago night.
The ground of this dream
is like a ribbon uncoiling
& turning back on itself,
a mobius strip.
Alternately I am a woman walking
barefoot on the earth
& then the ribbon swerves, it turns over;
I am the earth,
my body has become the earth.
I am being walked on by moccasined feet,
by unshod feet,
stepping, pressing on me
softly, quietly,
sensing their way along my paths lined with feathery pine needles,
sensing the stones in the beds of my creeks,
sharp as flint
or smooth as a shaven cheek.
My soil is being turned over,
as in the past,
reverently.
The hands of the people who turn over my skin
& plant seeds in me
are my hands;
the feet of these people
are my feet.
They bless me with prayers of thanksgiving,
with sprinkled cornmeal.
Their feet dance on me,
making footprints in my dust,
knowing they dance with their bodies
on their own body—
I am theirs
& they are mine.
They warm me
like the warmth of the sun.
They heal me.
Swaying & returning with the wind,
they cool me
like the leafy branches of trees;
they heal me.
When they eat the fish
of my lake & ocean & stream,
their hearts sing thanks to me
for the lives
of the glittering, gleaming, leaping swimmers
they take in,
which lend their lives
the gift of flicker
& swiftness
& strength.
They give thanks for the snake,
slithering through the grasses,
caressing the dirt,
caressing the skin of the earth,
shedding its own skin,
teaching them rebirth.
They give thanks for the four-leggeds,
whose paws on me feel
like those of little kittens,
scampering along my body,
pushing into & dimpling my flesh;
like those of older cats who yet pad rhythmically
on my knees & chest,
Creatures who show them how to walk on me,
how to walk the earth.
Be they wolf, buffalo, antelope, bear, or deer,
be they leopard, tiger, or lion;
be they mud-loving, mud-rolling
elephant or hippopotamus.
Be they rhinoceros.
Thanks too give the people for the tip tap of columns of ants,
of the caterpillar, of the beings of tiny feet
who tickle me till I laugh foolishly
even as they model how to gather food
& store it,
how work is play,
how work is dancing
with the rhythm of the seasons.
Thanks they give for the flutter & sip
of butterfly & hummingbird & bee,
of all the winged ones,
& the winged waterfall
who teach them how to sing
They give thanks for the rain.
It sprinkles me with quick little showers,
then penetrates strong & deep.
Thanks for the worms, breaking up my tough soil
into handfuls of earth they can run
through their fingers.
For everything
that makes me a place
for their bodies & spirits
to eat & drink.

*****

I have been the earth.
Back I am to having been a child,
to being a woman
with the imprint of grasses
on the soles of my feet.
Walking on hot, sun-baked mud
Or hot grainy golden sand.
Cool dark mud squishing up between my toes;
cool wet sand
holding the imprint
of heel & toe.
When I was nine, when I was ten,
when I was eleven,
I studies piano,
my fingers smoothing
& stumbling over the keys.
Today I no longer play,
but hear piano music
not only as if it came out of my own fingertips,
but as if the pianist
were stroking the rhythm, the melody
deep under my skin,
deep into my muscles, my flesh, my bones.
Taking it in is like being the earth.
Now I begin to make music again on the skin of the drum,
with my palms, with my fingertips,
the rhythm shivering back through me,
the beat entering
& reverberating
back up through the earth.
I walk with my fingers,
I walk with my feet.
I walk to earth’s heartbeat.
Again & again
I am a woman walking, walking to where she turns into the earth.
Again & again I feel what it is
what it could be,
to be the earth,
the earth we walk on.

***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

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